Japanese messaging app Line passes 200m user mark



By now you’ve most likely heard of WeChat, the Chinese instant messaging and social app taking the world by storm. What you may not realise though is that it has a Japanese competitor hot on its heels.

The app, called Line, allows people to make free voice calls and send text messages but has also expanded into social games and connected applications. Like WeChat, it is available across a number of platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Nokia Asha.

And like WeChat, it’s experiencing some seriously rapid growth. The company behind the app today announced that it had passed the 200-million download mark, 50-million more than it had in May.

Line growth

The company says a lot of that growth is coming from South East Asia and South America, especially in countries such as India, the Philippines, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Peru.

It’s important to note however that all those figures are for cumulative downloads, across the full range of devices it offers. That means it counts someone who has the app on their phone and their tablet, for instance, as seperate users.

That means it’s still some way behind WeChat, which has 250-million active users, although the Chinese app does have a bit of a head start and the weight of Tencent behind it.

One area where Line is winning however is in gaming. While WeChat is only just starting to get its games offering off the ground, Line claims to have had 150-million downloads on its gaming platform, which has 33 games on it.

It’s ability to play well across a variety of strengths means that the company could record US$58-million in revenue for Q1 2013, up 92% from the previous quarter.



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